Susan, Susan, Susan…

This topic has been beaten to death then shoved down our throats like haggis on Robbie Burns Day, but I’m still fascinated with the whole Susan Boyle thing, so off I go…

I must confess, I’ve watched the video about 10 times and still enjoy it, but I can’t figure out why. Why is Susan such a viral hit? What is it about her story that has struck a nerve with people all over the world? And why do people continue to forward it to me like I’m a recluse? You’d think I was a middle aged spinster-virgin with “mother issues” living with my cat in a wee Scottish village… oh wait… never mind.

The cynical part of me is annoyed by the way the producers of “Britain’s Got Talent” manipulated me into feeling this way. The goofy music as we followed Susan backstage before her performance; her “never been kissed” confession; the rolling of the judges eyes during her interview; the cut-aways to the sceptical audience etc; to the reveal that Susan is not, in fact a delusional crazy who’s about to embarrass herself on national TV but a talented singer. Oh, and that song! “I Dreamed a Dream” – autobiographical or cleverly executed choice? But despite all the pre-fabbed build up, I fall for it every friggin’ time, dammit!

There have been copious articles and TV/Radio items dissecting why this Susan thing has become so important – from she’s an every-woman/underdog/Cinderella that we want to see win, to how we (as an audience) are so ashamed about our preconceived idea that she’s a sad, lonely loser, we are overcompensating with our outpouring of love when it turns out she’s a gosh-darned fine talent. And the recession…I’ve heard more than once that Susan’s triumph has helped us feel better during this global financial crisis. Look at Susan – saving us all from ourselves!

I do feel for her. She’s been thrust into the middle of this circus which seems to continue to spiral out of control. I’m sure she’s having the time of her life – interviews, attention, (hopefully an eyebrow wax!), record company interest…but what happens when the (inevitable) crash happens? Susan strikes me as very vulnerable and child-like. Will show business ruin her or fulfill her? Who knows. One thing’s for sure, she’s going to need a lot of people who are looking out for her best interests; not folks riding her coat-tail to fame and fortune.

So, God bless ya, Susan, but I’m off to re-watch the “Stavros Flatley” clip. That’s some funny shit.

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